So much for spring. In typical Texas fashion I think we had 5 days of spring and then the summer temps set in. Is it October yet??
A quick glance at social media nowadays and you'll notice falconers are always busy. All these new hunting partners, falconry birds and puppies, building new mews, and weathering yards, we are never still. Then there's all these updates about summer picnics and field meets. I'm reminded that there are tons of volunteers throughout our falconry family planning and organizing summer picnics and annual fields meets. One thing is for sure, the 2018-2019 season is really shaping up to be a busy and exciting year for falconers and the falconry community.
This President's Message includes updates and details on a couple national field meets and a couple international meets scheduled for later this year. There's the Saskatchewan Falconry Association 60th Anniversary Field Meet, the first ACCAPP International Falconry Meet, the NAFA Eagle Falconry Meet, and the annual 2018 NAFA Field Meet. Beside these meets, there are dozens of state and provincial field meets all over the North America providing falconers ample opportunity to get out and make new friends, renew old friendships, and, most importantly, hunt your birds. Start making plans to attend some of these events today, you won't be sorry!
State falconry clubs are the lifeblood or 'grass roots' of North American falconry. In an attempt to make it easier for folks to find and learn more about scheduled events NAFA has created a page to list state falconry clubs events, see HERE . If you have an upcoming event scheduled, let us know so we can list it and help share the details. It's very simple, send an email to NAFA Webmaster Fred Fogg. (*If you are planning a summer picnic raffle or your winter field meet raffle, don't forget to reach out to NAFA Sales Coordinator Cathy Tintinger for a NAFA donation.)
Communication and sharing information or details is important. We get countless emails from falconers, members, and the public looking for more information on falconry, falconry vendors, education providers, breeders, and abatement companies. In the same vein as the 'Club Events' page previously mentioned, we've also created a 'Raptor Breeders' web page that will list current NAFA members who currently breed raptors for the falconry community. The third web page lists NAFA members who are in the business of providing Falconry Based Bird Abatement. We also created a 'Falconry Equipment' page to list of all current NAFA members who are in the business of providing falconry equipment and furniture. Lastly, we created a page the lists NAFA Members that provide raptor Education Services. Help us point customers your way!
Speaking of communication... I'm pleased to report we've expanded our NAFA crew by a few members. First is Mr. Bill Boni who has graciously volunteered to serve as one of our new Public Communications Officers. Bill has been around a while, having authored several books, handled a few meet registrations, and actually chaired one along the way too. Bill knows his stuff and will be helping by answering or forwarding all new 'Contact Us' requests received through the NAFA website. Please join me in welcoming Bill and thanking him for his willingness to help and serve NAFA!
With a commitment to membership engagement, expanding our communication efforts, and the constantly evolving social media world, we have also created a Social Media Team, consisting of former NAFA Director, Paul Domski, who, along with Public Information Officer Deanna Curtis, will lead our Facebook efforts, while Mike (Doc) Shepard from Wisconsin and Tyler Sladen from New Mexico—our newest Social Media Team Members—will be responsible for our Instagram presence at #NoAmFalconAssoc. And don’t forget Twitter at #NAFA_Update. Welcome to the team guys!
Also in this email are details about NAFA joining the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, an Eagle Take Update, and a Call for Nominations reminder.....
CONSERVATION EFFORTS CONTINUE
In last month's update I mentioned that, after NE Director Joe Kosakowski's proposal was accepted, we had applied to join the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP). Partnering with these important organizations in order to have a meaningful affect through shared and collaborative action is important and helps NAFA meet our mission and purpose.
I'm pleased to announce NAFA was accepted as a TRCP Partner and, through the efforts of Director Kosakowski, NAFA was actually invited to join TRCP as a member of their steering committee.
These partnerships will allow us to work with other groups and organizations that represent today's leading hunting, fishing, and conservation organizations. By affiliating with these groups we introduce many of them to falconry, we strengthen our voice locally, at the state level, and nationally in Washington, D.C. By aligning ourselves with other like-minded organizations we all benefit through collaboration in advancing conservation policies while protecting hunting and fishing for future generations.
EAGLES FOR FALCONRY UPDATE
The NAFA Eagle Committee continues to work with State Fish and Game Departments, USDA Wildlife Services, and FWS representatives to realize an eagle take this year. It is so frustratingly close to fruition. Something so simple yet so complicated. All hands have been on deck in hopes of getting something done this year. I'm still VERY hopeful.
At this point we have had reported and documented depredation occurring in both Utah and Wyoming. Sadly convincing land owners, via USDA WS, to complete a Form 37, required for USFWS to declare a depredation area, has been a challenge. In an effort to focus as much effort on the ground, NAFA Eagle Committee member and IEAA President Mike Barker is now leading efforts in Wyoming while Eagle Committee Chair Carter Wilford continues to lead efforts in Utah.
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS
TIME IS RUNNING OUT..... Two days and counting.... It's time to step up and serve our association! Now is the time!!! Every year, five of the ten NAFA Director positions are up for election. If you have ever considered giving back to the community, and are able to attend the annual field meet each November, please consider running for election and joining our Board of Directors. This summer, the following positions will be voted on; Director-at-Large, Canadian Director, South Pacific Director, Mountain Director, and Great Lakes Director. If you are interested in running for election, please click here to download, print, and complete the 2018 Nominations Form and return it prior to June 3, 2018. If you have any questions please contact our Corresponding Secretary, Donna Vorce at NAFACorrespondingSecretary@n-a-f-a.com.
PARAGUAY FALCONRY MEET
When the summer heat is unbearable and you need your falconry fix you might want to consider Paraguay. As a member organization to the IAF, NAFA members received an invitation to attend the ACCAPP First International Falconry Meet this July 9th thru the 16th.
Below is the link to the invitation from the Paraguayan falconers, ACCAPP, for IAF members to attend their first ever international falconry field meet. This is a unique opportunity to escape the summer's heat and head back to a winter climate to experience Paraguayan falconry.
For more information see: http://preview.mailerlite.com/f4j2s6
SASKATCHEWAN FALCONRY ASSOCIATION FIELD MEET
It's online!!! Time to start registering for the 60th Anniversary Saskatchewan Falconry Association Field Meetscheduled for October 1 thru October 7, 2018 in the beautiful prairie town of Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Ever need an excuse to take a bird north of the board to go hunt ducks? Here's your chance!! Start making plans today to attend today!!
NAFA, VP Geleynse, has negotiated a process with USFWS LE to reduce the financial burden of exporting/importing your birds to and from Canada to attend the field meet. There are some specific conditions, see here, that are required of falconers heading north of the border. One example is we are required to meet on a certain day and time at a designated exit or entry port.
Folks, this is your chance to experience an unparalleled duck hawking opportunity. Don't let this opportunity slip away. If no one takes advantage of the agreement with USFWS LE we may not get another chance. REGISTER TODAY!
2018 NAFA EAGLE FALCONRY MEET
Here's an update from Mike Barker, IEAA President & NAFA Eagle Meet Chair:
For the past several years, we have seen a lot of reference to eagle falconry in these monthly NAFA "Messages". There are good reasons for this. In essence, the falconry community in the United States has not had access to Golden Eagles since 2008, even though the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act clearly states - "That the Secretary of the Interior, pursuant to such regulations as he may prescribe, may permit the taking, possession, and transportation of golden eagles for the purposes of falconry...." . In these past ten years, you can count on your two hands the number of Golden Eagles which falconers have been able to add to their falconry licenses. None of those eagles were obtained by falconers from the wild since 2011, and in that year only six eagles were allowed for falconers. Years ago, falconers were allowed to have a "rehab" eagle transferred to their falconry license, but that was halted in 2011. While U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has promised to develop captive propagation regulations for Golden Eagles on more than one occasion since 2008, those regulations still do not appear to be forthcoming. Yet right next door in Canada, it is an entirely different story. None of these eagle access prohibitions exist for falconers in Canada. If that isn't enough to raise your blood pressure, then add to that according to Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology, Golden Eagle populations appear to have been stable in North America between 1966 and 2015, based on the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates the Golden Eagles' global breeding population to be 300,000 with 35% spending some part of the year in the U.S., 15% in Canada, and 3% in Mexico. The Golden Eagle is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List. Yet falconers are currently unable to obtain even a single Golden Eagle in the United States, from any source. While at the same time, wind energy companies are able to obtain 30 year permits to kill Golden Eagles with their wind turbines. Sometimes, the truth is stranger than fiction. This is an issue that needs to be a concern for the entire falconry community. What we see happening to eagle falconry in the United States can happen anywhere, with any raptor species. See below for some suggestions for actions we can all take to help bring back eagle falconry in the United States by showing support for our fellow falconers.
This year's Eagle Falconry Meet is shaping up to be another good one. Hunting with eagles is being planned for every day, October 8-13. Speakers and a buffet dinner are being planned each evening, with a picnic/barbecue and bonfire planned for Friday, October 12. If you can only attend one day, make sure it is Thursday October 11. Andrew Knowles-Brown, the Founder of the Scottish Eagle Centre, is the featured speaker. Bob Collins, Curator of the Archives of Falconry is planning a special exhibit as well as a short film featuring British author, photographer, and explorer Captain C.W.R. "Chas" Knight and his Golden eagle. Anne Price is planning a spectacular silent auction for this same evening and it will feature numerous hoods made by some of the best hoodmakers in the world, including Gene Johnson, Clay Smith, Jim Nelson, Ray Gilbertson, Ken Hooke, Gerald Geiger, Eric Tabb, Brian Kellogg, Doug Pineo, Natasha Leong, Tom Maechtle, Bill Barbour, and several others. Last year's Meet raised more than $5000 for The Falconry Fund and that money is being used to protect and preserve falconry for future generations. We are working for a repeat this year and have added the CMA Fund and Talon Trust to our list of beneficiaries. We need your help for this Meet to be a success and to help us secure a future for eagle falconry in the United States. Here are some ways you can do that
- Register for the Meet, and get your friends to register for the Meet. It's only $35. Go to this site and register - https://www.n-a-f-a.com/events/EventDetails.aspx?alias=2018EagleMeet
- Donate a hood, or get your friend who is a Master hoodmaker to donate a hood. Contact Anne Price at - (303) 587-6987 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Donate an auction item of your choice. It doesn't need to be a falconry related item. Again, Contact Anne Price at (303) 587-6987 or email@example.com
- Become a Meet Sponsor, ask your State Falconry Association to be a Meet Sponsor, ask a Friend to be a Meet Sponsor, and ask your favorite Falconry related business to be a Meet Sponsor. There are three levels of sponsorship; 1) Golden Eagle - $750 and higher, 2) Crowned Eagle - $250-$749, and 3) Ornate Hawk-Eagle - $100-$249.
- Other Suggestions - We can work with you to find the best way to contribute to the Meet. For example, donations could include company goods/services, food items/drinks for participants, or event swag.
Hope to see you in Wyoming this coming October. You don't want to miss it.
2018 NAFA FIELD MEET
Quick reminder and update. Last month we announced that NAFA will once again be returning to the great state of Texas for the 2018 NAFA Meet. We will also be returning to Lubbock and the MCM Elegante. Planning has been ongoing for several months and we're pleased to have commitments from some incredible and engaging nightly speakers. We will again be celebrating our incredible supporters and vendors with our, now annual, Vendor Appreciation Night. Hopefully game populations remain above average,=. 2014 proved to be a historic year for NAFA members. Things are lining up for another incredible NAFA Meet!
December 2 - 7, 2018
MCM Eleganté Hotel and Suites
801 Ave Q
Lubbock, Texas 79401
To make reservations online:
$85.00 per night (King or Doubles room) or $115.00 per night (Suite)
(*Price includes breakfast for up to 4 people per day per room.)
For the most current Meet information please refer to: http://www.n-a-f-a.com/event/2018NAFAMeet (*Online Registration Coming soon)
or on the NAFA Field Meet Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/2018NAFAMeet
If you need to reach us, Brandi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 940-507-0333 and Corey at email@example.com or 817-575-7256.
Before signing off, I want to send out a quick congratulations to my right hand man, Vice President Martin Geleynse, and his beautiful bride to be Rose-Marie Kragiel. Please join me in wishing them a lifetime of love and happiness. Best wishes Martin and Rose as you two love birds prepare to walk down the aisle and continue on this wonderful journey as husband and wife!
As always, please remember.... "As individuals, our differences make us stronger, but falconry is what unites us! Falconry helps us reach our full potential! Falconry makes us family!"
Thank you all for your continued support!
CALL TO ACTION
Keep an eye out for important details where you can assist with specific advocacy issues...